Boat Collision Raises Tensions Between Greece And Turkey

Boat Collision Raises Tensions Between Greece And Turkey

Athens/Ankara. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday the Aegean should be a "sea of friendship" between Greece and Turkey in comments that may signal Ankara's intention to de-escalate the crisis between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

During the conversation, Yildirim told Tsipras that Greece needed to take steps to decrease tension in the Aegean sea, Reuters reported.

A Turkish boat collided with a Greek patrol boat near a disputed islet group in the Aegean, prompting Greece's government to protest on Tuesday and hiking the tensions between the two countries.

According to information, Yildirim argued that Monday΄s incident was not the result of a deliberate action.

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A similar incident happened last month, the Greek navy said the two vessels' sides "came together.probably owing to an error on the part of the Turkish vessel".

It is believed that the migrants, including 36 Syrians and eight Eritreans, were trying to reach a Greek island, said the coast guard, who said he started a rescue operation after receiving a message asking for help from the boat. Following the warning, the Greek boat left Turkey's territorial waters.

A decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996 and led to renewed tensions this year.

Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, have been at odds over a host of issues from ethnically split Cyprus to sovereignty over airspace and overflights.

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